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On this day: First finals win

Bryce Shilton  September 5, 2017 10:27 AM

Greg Anderson in action during the 1993 Elimination Final against Hawthorn at the MCG

Greg Anderson in action during the 1993 Elimination Final against Hawthorn at the MCG

Adelaide stunned Hawthorn in the Club’s first-ever final on this day 24 years ago.

In only their third season in the AFL, the Crows secured a spot in the top six with a win over Collingwood in the final round of the home and away season, setting up an Elimination Final clash with a battle-hardened Hawthorn at the MCG.

It was a tough assignment. The Hawks were gearing up for their 12th consecutive finals series and had won the premiership just two years earlier.

Winning away from home had also been an issue for Adelaide in the early years, but despite this, more than 20,000 Crows fans made the journey to Melbourne to watch the Crows make history in their finals debut.

Wayne Weidemann set the tone early flattening then Hawk Darren Jarman just seconds after the opening bounce. Adelaide settled quickly, booting the first three goals through Randall Bone, Nigel Smart and Tony Modra before Hawthorn levelled the score by quarter-time.

On this day: Miracle at Etihad

The Crows broke the game open in the second term, kicking seven goals to three to lead by 24 points at half-time.

Hawthorn lifted again after the break, reducing the gap to seven points after Jason Dunstall slotted his fifth goal on the siren before taking the lead early in the final term.

A series of misses kept the Crows in the game, however, and goals from Matthew Liptak, Nigel Smart and Stuart Wigney secured the historic win.

The players returned to a fan frenzy with over 5,000 supporters packing into the old Adelaide airport terminal.

“When we arrived back at the airport it was like we were the Beatles,” Andrew Jarman recalled.

“We had people chasing us to our cars, it was scary!”

This first final success put the Crows within one win of their maiden Grand Final appearance, but the ultimate achievement would have to wait. Adelaide crashed out of the finals following losses to Carlton and Essendon.

It was another four years before Adelaide tasted September action again, but it would be worth the wait. Adelaide secured back-to-back premierships in 1997 and 1998 in only the Club’s second and third finals campaigns.

Liptak INSTORY.jpgMatthew Liptak fires off a handball during the 1993 Elimination Final against Hawthorn

September 5, 1993 – Elimination Final

HAWTHORN   3.4   6.6   10.12   13.17 (95)
ADELAIDE   3.4  10.6   12.7   16.14 (110)

GOALS: Smart 4, Liptak 3, Wigney 3, Modra 2, Bone 2, Bickley, Weidemann

BEST: Bickley, Rehn, Liptak, Anderson, McGuinness, Weidemann, McDermott

ATTENDANCE: 55,287 at the MCG